KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

What Do EMRs Mean For Patient Privacy?

The Miami Herald: The federal government is spending billions to make electronic medical records a standard feature of physician offices and hospitals, but the change is not without a cost - to doctors' balance sheets, and possibly to patient privacy. "If EMRs work, they'll be high-tech marvels - letting patients access their own medical records on their home computers, helping doctors coordinate tests with each other to avoid duplication, giving medical researchers access to millions of medical records." But, "[t]here are drawbacks. Patient advocates worry that EMRs could pose a threat to privacy. Doctors and hospitals say they're not being given enough time to set up the complex electronic systems or enough financial help to pay for them. The systems can cost $50 million to $100 million for hospitals and $15,000 to $50,000 for private doctors" (Tasker, 7/6). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.